Religious freedom is under constant bombardment from those who vehemently oppose anything that is closely associated with, or remotely resembles anything of a religious nature. It seems that at almost every turn, some effort is being made to eradicate Almighty God from any facet of human life. There are some, who in their finite wisdom, believe that they are all powerful, and all knowing, and there is no need for God. Therefore, if they feel that there is no need for God, then their objective is to deprive any God –loving, God-fearing person of the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. As a result, man begins to find himself on a never-ending downward spiral, and will continue on that downward journey unless good Christian people arise and speak up in defense of religious freedom.
The Church of Jesus Christ Introduces New Freedom of Religion Resources
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon” Church by the media and others) are all too familiar with religious persecution as it was an integral part of early Church history when Saints were forced out of communities because of their religious beliefs.
In an effort to help people of all religious faiths and denominations to have a better understanding of the importance of protecting religious freedom, The Church of Jesus Christ has made new resources available on the worldwide web. The new resources that are now available include videos, including an animated whiteboard presentation, that teach what religious freedom is and what each person can do to help preserve religious freedom, a new Facebook page “Support Religious Freedom” that is updated regularly to provide current information about the religious freedom issue, and a topic page that presents the principles of religious freedom and offers helpful suggestions for everyone to get actively engaged in protecting religious freedom.Read More
If you have questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently called the Mormon Church), whether you know a lot or a little (or next to nothing) about Mormonism already, MormonBasics.com might be a great way to start. Not an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ, MormonBasics was set up by Kelly Merrill. Kelly’s goal is to explain all aspects of Mormonism plainly, along with definitions of Mormon jargon that are often tough to understand for friends of other faiths. Although Kelly hands out simple explanations of doctrines and practices, he provides references to scriptures, talks from Mormon authorities, and other resources for a deeper search into all things Mormon.
Kelly started mormonbasics.com as a way to help in the global discussion about the LDS Church. He has found over the years that many life-long members of the Church need clarification and education, not just the new and returning members. Everything at mormonbasics.com is meant to be kept simple and straight-forward. Much of what is written there is in story form or prose to simplify the concepts. There are even helps for Mormons teaching lessons in their Sunday classes in the form of simplified lessons and ideas.
Reader contributions are welcome at MormonBasics. See the submission guidelines on the website.Read More
Prior to becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church by the media and others), I knew of several people who had a keen interest in tracing their family roots. To some, it was more or less a pastime, but others had a true passion for wanting to learn more about their ancestry, and spent a great deal of time doing genealogical research.
Mormons and the Purpose of Genealogical Research
In addressing the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul asked the profound question, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:29). This is a question that has generated considerable discussion among the various Christian denominations, and is the foundational scripture which Mormons, or Latter-day Saints as they are officially known, use as part of their doctrinal teaching concerning the sacred ordinance of proxy baptisms that are performed in their temples.
For members of The Church of Jesus Christ, genealogical research is more than just an avocation or a fun family project, albeit family members are active participants in the research processes. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ do not believe that death signifies finality, but rather, life is perpetuated beyond the grave. Therefore, though it may prove of great interest to learn the names of deceased ancestors, what their stations in life were, and some of their life’s story, Latter-day Saints believe that each individual name that is discovered is an individual soul of worth, and that person, as well as members of his family, who have passed on without having the opportunity to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and the full blessings thereof, should still be afforded that blessed opportunity.Read More
On the heels of the historic announcement by the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church) in October 2012 regarding lowering the age requirements for missionaries, more developments were announced in a worldwide missionary broadcast held June 23, 2013.
Mormon missionaries, mission presidents, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ, and Latter-day Saints throughout the world came together via satellite and the Internet, in a two-hour meeting originating in the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The Provo Missionary Training Center is located adjacent to the campus.
“Teach All Nations”
President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ, reminded members of the Church that there is “no proclamation more relevant, no responsibility more binding, no instruction more direct than the injunction given by the resurrected Lord” to “teach all nations” the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19).
The ultimate goal of missionary work in the Church is to invite all the inhabitants of the earth to come unto Christ, gain a personal testimony of Him, and make and keep covenants to follow Him. In the worldwide meeting, Elder Russell M. Nelson, one of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ, said that God wants all of His children to return to Him, worthy of His blessings.Read More
With the ever-evolving world of technology and social media, more and more people, both the younger generation and even some of the older generation, are becoming more actively engaged in the use of electronic communications. Even the simple art of letter-writing to stay in touch with loved ones and friends may now be considered almost as antiquated as spinning records on a record player, or a secretary using a typewriter or taking dictation. .
With the rapid advance in technology, and the advent of social media such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, being able to stay in contact with someone has become a real-time adventure. Being able to converse with someone halfway around the world, and to be able to see each other face to face, at any time – day or night, and regardless of time zone differences, could only be imagined even a few short years ago, but now it is a reality.
Not only do individuals and businesses depend on social media to help keep them connected, but religious organizations and groups such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church by the media and others) have also joined the technology and social media revolution. The Church of Jesus Christ recently announced that members of the First Presidency of the Church have launched Google+ pages and Facebook pages for each member.Read More
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church by the media and others) was first recognized as a part of the Boy Scouts of America in 1913. The scouting program in The Church of Jesus Christ functions to provide leisure-time activities for the young men of the Church, with a spiritual and cultural emphasis. At the close of 2010, the LDS Church’s involvement in Scouting consisted of: 142,085 Cub Scouts in 10,345 packs; 205,990 Boy Scouts in 19,285 troops, and 64,645 Venturers in 8,298 crews.
Incorporated within scouting for LDS youth is a program known as the Aaronic Priesthood Duty to God program which enables young men to accomplish the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood. In addition to the skills that they learn and obtain as scouts, the Duty to God program helps them to develop skill sets and character attributes that will be needed in order to achieve success in life. Young men work with their parents and priesthood leaders to set and accomplish goals leading to the Duty to God Award.
Gay Mormon Youth and the Boy Scouts of America
The Church of Jesus Christ has long advocated that a young man’s sexual orientation has never been, nor is it at present, a deterrent for a young man to be a member of an LDS scout troop. That is not to say, however, that The Church of Jesus Christ condones homosexual behavior. A young man’s membership in the scouting program is predicated upon his abstaining from pre-marital sex relationships.
Church of Jesus Christ Supports BSA’s Decision to Lift Ban on Gay Youth
Just one short month ago, Church leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ stated that the support of the BSA’s proposed decision to lift the ban on gay youth was in the affirmative. That stance has not shifted one degree to the left or to the right, as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Thursday, 23 May 2013, issued an official statement in support of the BSA’s resolution to lift the ban on gay youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America. The statement that was issued reads as follows:
For the past 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed a strong relationship with Boy Scouts of America, based on our mutual interest in helping boys and young men understand and live their duty to God and develop upright moral behavior. As the Church moves forward in its association with the Boy Scouts of America, Church leaders will continue to seek the most effective ways to address the diverse needs of young people in the United States and throughout the world.
The Church’s long-established policy for participation in activities is stated in the basic instructional handbook used by lay leaders of the Church: “young men … who agree to abide by Church standards” are “welcomed warmly and encouraged to participate” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church , 8.17.3). This policy applies to Church-sponsored Scout units. Sexual orientation has not previously been—and is not now—a disqualifying factor for boys who want to join Latter-day Saint Scout troops. Willingness to abide by standards of behavior continues to be our compelling interest.
These standards are outlined in the booklet For the Strength of Youth and include abstinence from sexual relationships. We remain firmly committed to upholding these standards and to protecting and strengthening boys and young men.
The Church appreciates BSA’s reaffirmation of its commitment to “duty to God,” which includes service to others and moral behavior—central principles of our teaching to young men. As in the past, the Church will work with BSA to harmonize what Scouting has to offer with the varying needs of our young men. We trust that BSA will implement and administer the approved policy in an appropriate and effective manner.